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Wildlife Encounters: 
A Few Reminders on What to Do
The arrival of spring brings increased chances for encounters between people and wild animals. To avoid conflicts with bears, coyotes, and foxes, do not approach or try to feed them. Remove any food sources, such as garbage, pet food, bird feeders, and suet, from your yard. Report sightings of bears to the DEEP Wildlife Division as part of our bear research project. 

Orphaned Wildlife: Although they may appear to be "orphaned," the adult is probably close by, waiting for you to leave. It is best to leave the animal alone. If you are absolutely certain a wild animal has been injured or orphaned, before touching or moving it, contact the DEEP Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011 or contact an authorized wildlife rehabilitator.

Wildlife Problems: Many wildlife species, such as squirrels, raccoons, or mice, will use houses or other buildings for shelter and as a place for raising young. Visit WildlifeHelp.org (select "Connecticut" as your state to get started) or DEEP's website for information on how to handle problems with wildlife. A licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator can be hired if professional assistance is needed for solving common nuisance wildlife problems. WildlifeHelp.org is supported by the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Northeast Wildlife Damage Management Cooperative.

Rabies Awareness: To prevent exposure to rabid animals, always vaccinate pets against rabies and never approach any animal, domestic or wild, that is acting disoriented or is unusually tame or aggressive. Suspected rabid animals should be reported to the local police or animal control officer. If local authorities cannot be reached, contact DEEP at 860-424-3333 for guidance.
Donate to the Connecticut Endangered Species/Wildlife Income Tax Check-off Fund to protect wildlife and habitat.
Report Bald Eagle Nesting Activity 
Bald eagle nesting season has begun in Connecticut. Over the next few weeks, eagles will begin laying and incubating eggs.  The DEEP Wildlife Division monitors nesting bald eagles in Connecticut. Almost all information about new nests and the status of existing nests comes from volunteers. This information is critical to allow the Wildlife Division to protect individual nests and Connecticut's bald eagle population. You can help by reporting observations of eagles and nesting activity.

CT DEEP Officially Joins the Alliance for America's Fish and Wildlife
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has officially joined the Alliance for America's Fish and Wildlife (AAFW), the national effort to secure conservation funding to prevent our fish and wildlife from becoming endangered. We encourage Connecticut businesses and organizations who support funding for wildlife conservation to join, too. More information about this national effort can be found at www.OurNatureUsa.com. Everyone is encouraged to like and follow the AAFW Facebook page, as well.

According to DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee, "DEEP has a public trust responsibility for the conservation and management of all fish and wildlife in the state. Over 600 vertebrate species and tens of thousands of invertebrate species call Connecticut home. The Connecticut Wildlife Action Plan addresses the needs of our state's fish and wildlife with a focus on species of greatest conservation need. However, there are insufficient funds to fully implement the Plan to prevent future endangered species listings and provide for the needs of all species and habitats. In particular, a dedicated and sustainable funding mechanism is needed for many wildlife species that are not pursued by hunters, trappers, and anglers."

To find out how you can help with this effort, go to  www.OurNatureUsa.com or contact the DEEP Wildlife Division at deep.ctwildlife@ct.gov.
Visit Us at the Northeast Fishing & Hunting Show 
Come and join us on April 6, April 7, and April 8 at the 21st annual Fishing and Hunting Show held at the CT Convention Center in Hartford.  DEEP Wildlife and Fisheries Division staff and State Environmental Conservation Police Officers will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, so come by and say hello. We hope to see you there!

Meet the North American Porcupine
Photo courtesy of Grant Dupill
Have you ever seen a porcupine in Connecticut?  Would you like to know more about the elusive quill pig? Join CT DEEP Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator Gerri Griswold and her non-releasable porcupine at DEEP's Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby, on Saturday, March 10, at 10:00 AM. Gerri will give a one-hour program and address the natural history of one of Connecticut's most fascinating species.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is requested but not required. The Kellogg Environmental Center is located at 500 Hawthorne Avenue,  off of Rte. 34 in Derby. For further information, please email donna.kingston@ct.gov or call 203-734-2513.

Upcoming Programs at the Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center
The Sessions Woods Conservation Education Center's Public Program Series is a cooperative venture between the Wildlife Division and the Friends of Sessions Woods. Please pre-register for these programs by calling 860-424-3011 or email  laura.rogers-castro@ct.gov . Programs are free. An adult must accompany children under 12 years old. No pets allowed!

March 25, 2018 (Sun.), 9:30 am, A Season of Fun-(gi)
April 29, 2018 (Sun.), 1:00 pm, Live Birds of Prey with A Place Called Hope
May 6, 2018 (Sun.), 2:00 pm, Spring Hike
June 2, 2018 (Sat.), 9:00 am, Trails Day Hike
July 12, 2018 (Thurs.), 10:00 am, Butterflies!

Unsold Deer Lottery Permits
Unsold Deer Lottery Permits will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting March 15, 2018. Unsold lottery permits can be purchased online or at select DEEP offices up until sold out or the season ends. All unsold lottery permits must be purchased at the end of the transaction.
 
Osprey Nation Reaches Conservation Milestone 
Osprey are a prime example of a conservation comeback story. The use of the pesticide DDT drove this species to the brink of extinction back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Once DDT was banned, the population rebounded, and now the 2017 Osprey Nation report, released by the Connecticut Audubon Society, announced that the locations of nearly every osprey nest in Connecticut have been identified. "This means that wildlife biologists will be able to start to determine if the osprey's decades-long comeback has peaked in Connecticut or if there are still enough nesting areas and food for the population to expand," said Patrick Comins, Connecticut Audubon's executive director. 

Wildlife-related Signs Available on DEEP Website
The Wildlife Division has developed several signs to help inform the public on how to better handle human and wildlife interactions.  A mute swan warning sign (PDF) can be downloaded from the DEEP website, laminated, and installed near a swan nesting territory to caution boaters. The Wildlife Division has also developed "Be Bear Aware" signs that can be downloaded and displayed at town halls, visitor centers, parks, schools, other public buildings /locations, and along hiking trails. To help prevent disturbance to nesting ospreys, private landowners, towns, organizations, and others can post a "Stay Away From Nesting Area" (PDF) sign near nesting osprey platforms.
Migratory Bird Hunting Season Regulations Meeting 
REMINDER: The DEEP Wildlife Division will hold  the Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations Meeting on   Saturday, March 31, 2018 from 2:00 - 4:00 PM at the Franklin Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA), 391 Route 32, in North Franklin (directions). 

Changes to Facebook News Feed Settings
Recently Facebook made changes to their News Feed, which affects how users view posts from pages that they follow.  For those that follow our Facebook page Connecticut Fish and Wildlife, we ask that you follow these few simple steps to ensure that you stay up to date on the latest fish and wildlife news in Connecticut. 

2. Click the "Following" drop down menu
3. Select "See first" under "In your news feed"
4. Select "All on" under "Notifications"
Species of the Month: Wood Frog
An incredible diversity of wildlife species can be found in our state. Take some time to discover Connecticut's wildlife!

With the recent warm weather we experienced in February, amphibians, such as the wood frog, came out a little early from their winter slumber. On the first warm, rainy night of spring, usually in March, wood frogs make their way to nearby vernal pools. Vernal pools are temporary bodies of water that serve as the breeding grounds for many amphibians, including spring peepers and spotted salamanders. The wood frog has adapted well to living in colder climates and is the only frog that lives north of the Arctic Circle. Be on the lookout for the first warm, rainy night of this month, and you may see wood frogs making their annual journey to a vernal pool. 

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